Ownership management and use of land – legal and practical implications

Project status: 

State and territory laws place obligations on ‘occupiers’, ‘owners’ and ‘land holders’, which may also apply to native title holders.  

This project stems from the Weeds Report (Weir, J & Duff, N, 2012, ‘Weeds and Native Title: Law and Assumption’, Native Title Research Report), which identifies a lack of clarity throughout the jurisdictions about the legal obligations of native title holders as possible ‘occupiers’, ‘owners’ or ‘land holders’ under respective state or territory laws.  This project intends to identify and discuss those obligations and the extent to which they do or may apply to native title holders. 

The risk exists that States and Territories may impose unexpected or unwarranted obligations on common law native title holders. Clarifying and disseminating information about potential and existing obligations is an activity which native title holders, as well as law and policy makers throughout the jurisdictions, may refer to when developing strategies to manage these obligations. 

This project also relates to Getting PBCs off the Ground.  That project intends to support native title holders and their PBCs to hold and manage traditional lands and waters.  By clarifying native title holders’ existing and potential obligations, this project will support that outcome.


Research team


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Last reviewed: 2 May 2016